Written by Justin Datu.
It took almost ten years for Ron Burgundy and the news team to assemble once again. But after such a lengthy hiatus, can Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay catch lightning in a bottle for the second time?
In this long anticipated sequel, legendary news anchor, Ron Burgundy, finds his personal and professional lives turned upside down before he is thrust into the middle of a news and media revolution.
The jokes flow thick and fast, becoming overwhelming at times. One can barely register the last gag before Ferrell and crew throw another barrage of non sequiturs your way. The pacing of the jokes leaves little room to let them sink in and it often feels as if the movie is hurling everything it’s got at the audience to see what sticks. Most of the jokes aren’t particularly clever and Ferrell tends to fall into a bad habit of explaining a gag that was already glaringly obvious.
All of the silliness from the first movie is ramped up to an insane degree. Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy seems to have become even more dim-witted since the first movie. The same can be said for Steve Carell’s Brick Tamland. In this film, Carell takes his character’s stupidity to the next level and at times it becomes grating and artificial, almost as if he is parodying his character from the first film. With that said, what the film lacks in consistency, it makes up for with insane moments that come to a head in the ridiculously over the top climax.
There are a lot of misses, especially during the middle portion of the movie, but when the film hits it marks, it is just as funny as the first one. The humor is much the same as the first film, just ramped up to the next level, which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. But when it does work, it makes for some big laughs.
Despite the exaggeration of their characters, both Ferrell and Carell manage to bring their fair share of laughs to the table with their inherent, goofy charm. Paul Rudd shines in his expanded role as Ron’s right hand man and James Marsden comes in with a surprisingly entertaining comedic turn as the narcissistic rival anchor, Jack Lime. It would be amiss to not mention the cameos, but I don’t want to say much more than they are unexpected to say the least and will make the audience’s collective jaw drop in between the guffaws.
Amidst the absurdity, it would be easy to forget the surprising, if somewhat obvious social commentary. Much like how the first film tackled the issue of women in the media, Anchorman 2 parodies Fox News and Rupert Murdoch. It’s not exactly subtle, but the way McKay has managed to jam Ron Burgundy into media history is very clever and to the film’s credit they do try to convey a message behind the gags.
Crude, dumb and utterly, absurdly ridiculous, Anchorman 2 takes everything about the first film and turns it up to 11. It doesn’t always work and it lacks the quotable moments of the first Anchorman, but this second instalment is undeniably funny. It won’t change the minds of those who disliked the first movie, but fans of the first will find more than enough to satisfy them here.
THE REEL SCORE: 7/10